Vinyl: The Greatest Musical Medium


Ethan Murphy, Reporter

People listen to music everywhere: on the bus, in cars, walking or sitting. This negatively affects their day because they meet no one new, miss out on the sounds of the world around them and appreciate the music less because of oversaturation. 

In the past, people listened to live performers. Then came vinyl, cassettes, CDs and mobile devices. Inperson shows almost always trump other mediums because of the unique experience taken from them. However, vinyl is a close second.

From the invention of the record player to digital streaming, musical mediums have consistently evolved. During this process, the listener gained greater convenience. But does convenience overrule quality? 

The experience of vinyl records differs greatly from other methods. Buying the record in the store, watching it spin, amassing a collection and the signature. The experience creates a feeling impossible for digital sound to mimic.

So, why don’t more people listen this way? First buying both record players and records are costly investments, certainly more costly than the $5 per month Spotify charges students. Second, people want their music on demand, and record players cannot supply this want.

Not all vinyls cost a week’s pay. Record stores often carry used records, which only cost a dollar. This removes financial obstacles preventing people from going into the store and immersing themselves in the record-buying process. 

All around, vinyl is better than digital airwaves projected directly into the ears. Want to relax? Throw on some jazz on a low volume, and let it float around. Want to energize yourself? Crank the volume up and let some punk or psychedelia shake things up. Regardless of musical taste, everyone can find something special that works for them.

If an album peaked curiosity before, it forces questions now. If an artist inspired before, they motivate now. With a small investment and a touch of commitment, music can have some tangibility again.